Members of South Korean pop group BTS appeared in the White House briefing room on Tuesday, followed by a private meeting with President Joe Biden to discuss anti-Asian hate crimes.
“We, BTS, are honored to be invited to the White House tonight to discuss important issues such as anti-Asian hate crimes, Asian-American inclusion and diversity,” RM spoke in English from the room, while members of the other six-member panel Speak in Korean.
Press Secretary Carine Jean-Pierre accompanied the seven pop stars to the podium, but kept them from answering questions.
RM (center) speaks to reporters in the White House Briefing Room on Tuesday, marking the last day of Asian Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
K-pop group BTS attracts throngs of journalists to the briefing room for Tuesday’s performance
White House press secretary Karin Jean-Pierre welcomed K-pop group BTS to the White House briefing room on Tuesday before the band will hold a private meeting with President Joe Biden
On Tuesday, White House press secretary Karin Jean-Pierre welcomed BTS to the White House Briefing Room ahead of a private meeting with President Joe Biden
Crowds of reporters turned up at Tuesday’s White House news conference to get a glimpse of K-pop group BTS
The seven members of K-pop supergroup BTS lined up behind White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Tuesday
A doll resembling BTS member Jungkook was displayed outside the White House on Tuesday
Fans of BTS walked through the fence outside the White House on Tuesday.Hallyu star speaks in White House briefing room, followed by private meeting with president
A BTS fan holds up a poster of the boy band outside the White House on Tuesday as the seven members meet with President Joe Biden
They are scheduled to hold a private meeting with the self-proclaimed fan president late Tuesday afternoon.
Fans of the supergroup were spotted outside the White House long before BTS came along.
Inside, the briefing room was packed.
Tuesday is the last day of Asian Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.
“We joined the White House to stand and celebrate with the AANHPI community,” said BTS member Jin.
“We are appalled by the recent surge in hate crimes, including against Asian Americans. To stop this and support the cause, we want to take this opportunity to speak out once again,” Jimin added.
Hate crimes against Asians have been on the rise since the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are here today to thank our military, our fans around the world, of different nationalities and cultures, speaking different languages. We are truly and forever grateful,” J-Hope said.
Jungkook added, “We are still amazed that music created by Korean artists crosses language and cultural barriers and reaches so many people around the world.” “We believe that music is always an amazing and wonderful unity of all things. ”
Yoshihide Suga stepped forward and said, “There’s nothing wrong with being different.”
“Equality begins when we open up to all our differences,” he said.
Then V was on the podium.
“Everyone has their own history,” he said. “We hope today is a step towards respecting and understanding each individual as a person of value.”
RM then ended the appearance, speaking in English again.
“Finally, we thank President Biden and the White House for this important opportunity to talk about important reasons and remind ourselves of what we can do as artists,” he said. “Thank you very much again.”
Several reporters shouted questions to the pop group, but Jean-Pierre brought the singers out.
Members of K-pop group BTS arrive at White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre for Tuesday’s briefing
BTS fans held up a blanket decorated with cartoon versions of the seven singers outside the White House on Tuesday
Biden has spoken out against Asian-American hatred since the early months of his administration.
He slammed former President Donald Trump for using terms such as “Chinese virus” to refer to the new coronavirus.
“This is the coronavirus. Totally stop,” Biden said in March 2021 after targeting Asians, especially Asian women, at a spa outside Atlanta.
A recent shooting at a California church in southern Taiwan that left one dead and five injured is now being investigated as a hate crime, and a shooting at a Dallas salon left three Asian women injured.
Both incidents occurred this month.
Stop AAPI Hate Groups Track over 10,000 Hate incidents against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders since the start of the COVID lockdown in March 2020 until the end of last year.
Former White House press secretary Jen Psaki has previously linked Trump’s rhetoric to the rise in hate crimes.
“I think there’s no question that some of the damaging rhetoric we saw during the last administration — calling COVID the Wuhan virus or something — led to inaccurate, unfair, and threatening perceptions in the Asian American community, There has been an increased threat to Asian Americans, and we’re seeing this across the country,” Psaki said.
Biden previously signed aMemorandum Condemning and Combating Racism, Xenophobia and Intolerance Against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders‘ on his sixth day as president.
“The federal government must recognize that it has played a role in fueling these xenophobic sentiments through the actions of political leaders, including by referring to the COVID-19 pandemic through the geographic location of its origin,” the order said.
“These remarks have fueled unfounded fears and chronic stigma against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and have led to increased rates of bullying, harassment, and hate crimes against Asian Americans,” it continued.
A week ago, Biden wrapped up his first trip to Asia as president, meeting South Korea’s new President Yoon Seok-yeol in Seoul before traveling to Tokyo to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and the leaders of the four countries.
Jimmy Fallon’s The Tonight Show ran as part of coverage of Biden’s trip Dub clip Biden sings BTS’s hit song Butter.